Thursday, December 28, 2006


It's really cold here. Ok so it's not technically freezing at this moment. But to save on my gas/electricity bills, I keep the heating off during the day while I'm at home. And I bundle on the sweaters. But the temperature has really dropped and I'm so COLD. I have these slippers that actually make my feet colder when I wear them. Seriously. I'm not sure how that works. When I was visiting my family I bought several really nice new sweaters, some of them quite heavy and made of wool, so I can layer up and not die of hypothermia. Yet.

Christmas was good. I got some fun toys. Partner got me this new video game that's a First Person Shooter. I've never really done much FPS type games before. I don't like violent games. Well, violence is ok but graphic violence is not. There is no blood in this game but it sure is dark. If it's a bright day, I have to wait till it gets dark to play it, otherwise there's too much of a glare on the tv. I also got some art supplies from Partner. He got me a calligraphy pen and ink set. I used to have one but the pen broke. I think maybe the nib did too. So for a while I did brush and ink instead which I also really enjoyed, though once I ran out of ink I never got a new bottle. I have a bunch of ink drawings from about four or five years ago. Some of them are really good. Most of them aren't. Though sometimes I look at my old drawings and think wow, did I really do that? Then other times I think, where's the trash can?

We're going to London to visit the inlaws for New Year's. We probably won't be doing any shopping this time, which is a shame. I love shopping. But I'm broke now that Christmas is done. Partner says he wants to buy me some silk stockings. I think I can wait a little longer for them. Like till I'm a millionare. Then I'll get a dozen pairs.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

None taken

At last, it frosted here and it's officially the start of winter. Actually, on my American calendar winter started yesterday, but on my British calendar it started today. Happily, the days will now be getting longer again (starting either today or tomorrow, whichever calendar you happen to believe in). But now that means I have to do a little more work in my garden. The tender plants need to be brought in out of the cold.

I think I'm going to add another composter to my collection. I just have one medium-sized black one, and I think I've dug out all the compost that's coming for a while. Maybe I could chip out a bit more, but that stuff is like concrete. Well, maybe not concrete, but it sure is compact. The composter is completely full, mostly of plants and leaves from this summer, but also some kitchen waste as well. And of course it's also full of worms and other wiggly things. Compost is cool. You put green/yellow leafy stuff in one end, and black crumbly stuff comes out the other end. In Vermont where I worked, the gardeners had a six-week compost rotation. It actually took six weeks for their compost to break down into dirt. It was really amazing. I think it goes for about three to six months in my compost bin. Actually, if I had the time for it, I could do a six-week compost heap. The thing is, it needs to be stirred every day. And stirring can be tough. It involves a big shovel or fork and a lot of digging. And really yucky smells. The neighbors wouldn't thank me for it.

It frosted hard overnight and there's still a heavy white film on the ground now at 11.20 AM. In other parts of the country they say there is a heavy freezing fog. I'm glad it's sunny here. Partner has been taking the bus to work. It's no good when he has to wait for it in bad weather. I used to take the bus to college every day, and it could really suck in the rain. But it's worse when it's freezing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Up and down

So all those crocosmia cormlets got planted. I dug holes for several clumps of them, towards the rear of the garden. Places that are mostly shady and not well populated with other plants. They should make some good-sized patches when they come up next year. The ones that are already in place, ones I didn't dig up, are already started with new shoots. I cleared away all the old leaves and little yellow ones are peeking up out of the ground.

I also planted some baby lupins I grew from seed earlier this year. A third of them went out front a few months ago, and another third got planted in the back two days ago. They're so tiny but they look strong. I don't know, however, if they'll flower the first year. Partner says he planted some one spring and they didn't flower till next summer. But mine will be almost a year old next spring, so I've got my fingers crossed. What's good is that if you dead head them, they'll flower all summer. We let our big ones go to seed last summer and the little pods burst open with such speed that the seeds were bouncing off the fence and pinging off the neighbor's glass conservatory roof. One hit Partner in the ear. He was convinced birds were dropping things on him. [Addendum: Partner was the one who discovered where they were coming from. Just in case he reads this and thinks I'm trying to make him look like an idiot. He's not really.]

And lastly, and I'm very excited about this, two of my rose cuttings are sprouting. I took them earlier this fall and two look a bit dry and stiff, but two are definitely growing new shoots. Super Neat.

I still haven't got my three bags of tulip bulbs yet. I think I should ask Santa for them. He's got more money than me. My parents sent a big bag of presents with us for Christmas and some of them are to me from Santa. Not that I believe in Santa. I can't remember ever believing in him, to tell the truth. Though I remember pretending to believe when I was little, because my parents thought it was cute. I wrote a letter and left cookies and milk. I probably believed at one point in my life, but that point of my life is a little fuzzy now. But I still believe in unicorns. Metaphysically, at least.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Looking up

I haven't spent much time in my garden recently. I dug up a huge patch of crocosmia that we have, in preparation for making an herb garden next year. Crocosmia is a lovely plant that grows from little bulb/corm thingies and has wonderful orangey flowers that look like tiny birds of paradise. We have a couple of patches here and there, but this patch was so big, it all came up in one big lump about two feet square and I had to physically break each and every corm away from a tight knot of roots. I ended up with a five gallon bucket overflowing with them. Just corms, no roots or leaves. I will plant them soon. The weather has been extremely mild and we haven't had any hard frost yet, so the ground is still ok for planting.

We visited my parents in southern Utah for Thanksgiving. I did a lot of filming for a movie I want to make. However, since my dad owns the video camera I have to wait for him to extract the film to digital and then send it to me for editing. If I ever get it done, I'll post it online. It should be only a short ten to fifteen minute movie. Nothing too overtaxing, I hope. We saw my sister play basketball and were very impressed with her skills. I would venture to say she is one of the best players on her team. My brother is an artist and he showed me his portfolio. He wants to do CGI for the movies. Or maybe for video games. I think he's really talented. And then there's me. I think I used to be good at stuff. I used to draw. I used to play basketball. Now...I mostly garden.

I'm looking forward to Christmas as well. I want lots and lots of presents. Big presents. All wrapped up in pretty paper with big bows. Although I also really enjoy buying presents too. I had fun picking out things for my siblings when we visited them. They all got presents that I would have liked to have kept for myself.